40 Under 40
Good evening! What a terrific class we have this year! It is great to see tonight’s honorees, as well as past 40 Under 40 award recipients who helped select this class. This year’s record pool of more than 750 nominations reflects the prestige these awards carry, as well as the enthusiasm we have in our community. That is why Webster University is proud to sponsor these awards. As a global university that fosters young leaders and builds strong local connections in communities around the world, we are proud to work side by side with each of you and the young leaders to come.
Webster University is celebrating its centennial this year – 100 years – right here in St. Louis. What we know about Webster University’s history, is how important it is to nurture and encourage young leaders: When we do so, we help to create lifelong pillars of the community. Generations of leaders in this community are rooted in Webster’s founding and transformation in those 100 years.
Elizabeth Robb, who chaired our centennial committee, is one such example: She enrolled at Webster as a teenager in the 1960s, graduated with a degree in education, made a career turn to open her own very successful real estate business – and that business is still in the family today.
Another example is Jenifer Lewis, the star of film, TV and stage who got her start in Webster’s Conservatory in the 1970s. Her career since graduating in 1979 has spanned 35 years, 200 TV appearances, 60 films and four Broadway shows. Today you may know her from the current ABC show “Black-ish” or the recent “The Wedding Ringer” movie. But she is also known for her activism on the global and local levels, from AIDS research and human rights to the outreach in Ferguson. Born in the north St. Louis suburb of Kinloch, she continues to give back to her community today. I am proud to say she will be Webster’s centennial year commencement speaker this May, and she has created a scholarship with us to help provide students the same opportunity she had as a young woman.
Tonight’s awards celebrate this generation of extraordinary young leaders and engaged citizens who are making their mark in our region. Your talent and leadership is vital to keeping St. Louis vibrant and moving forward. The connections you build with one another and with your peers across the nation make St. Louis stronger. You have completed a very promising first stage of your careers, and are building the foundation for an even greater impact in the future -
As I look at the members of this year’s class, I see many faces and institutions that Webster University has worked with over the years in the name of making our region better.
Webster’s own commitment to our region has many expressions, from Webster Groves to Westport, Winghaven and Scott Air Force Base where we serve the western and eastern reaches of the metro area, and of course right here downtown, where our Gateway campus is responsible for restoring the Old Post Office and soon, the Arcade Building.
Those are physical locations, the places where our community comes together. But of course when we say “community,” we really mean “people.” The ideas, the partnerships and innovations that move our community forward are due to the courage and leadership of great people like those we celebrate here tonight.
So on behalf of this region, and on behalf of Webster University’s worldwide network of more than 172,000 alumni, I congratulate the 2015 40 Under 40 class. Your best is yet to come. But you have already made us even more proud to call St. Louis home.
- Fall Convocation 2012
- London Commencement 2012
- Webster Works Celebration Remarks
- Annual Human Rights Conference
- Scholarship Dinner
- Kemper Lunch
- Jacqueline Grennan Wexler Memorial
- Shepherd's Center Remarks
- Building on our Momentum
- How Webster University is Becoming 'A Better U'
- Fall Convocation 2011
- Transforming Lives and Enriching Communities
- Scholarship Dinner Remarks
- Admitted Student Day Welcome
- Webster Groves Rotary
- The Webster/Kirkwood Connection
- Strengths-Based Leadership for a Global Organization
- Daniel Webster Society Dinner
- Webster Groves/Shrewsbury Chamber of Commerce
- Confucius Institute BLCU Partners Gathering
- Inauguration Address
- Who are you?
- You are Ready
- Webster’s Leadership and Vision for Global Academic Excellence
- What's In a Name?
- A Defining Moment
- 2013 SITE Scholarship Dinner Remarks
- 2013 Human Rights Conference Opening Remarks
- 2013 Kemper Luncheon
- 2013 Athena Leadership Foundation Awards Luncheon
- 2013 Commencement Speech
- Norman Stack Awards
- Fayetteville Commencement
- NAFSA President's Day Dinner
- Legacy Lunch Remarks
- Student Literacy Corps
- Shaw Air Force Base Commencement Address
- Fall Convocation
- Alumni Celebration Gala
- Golden Circle Luncheon
- Rain Garden Dedication
- Diversity Celebration
- December Toast
- 2014 Spring Convocation
- Scholarship Dinner 2014
- Webster Groves Presbyterian Church Men's First Friday Breakfast
- Fort Belvoir Commencement
- Whitfield High School Commencement
- Jacksonville Commencement
- Fall Convocation 2014
- Bethesda Remarks
- Fort Bliss Commencement
- Daniel Webster Society Dinner
- December Toast 2014
- Spring Convocation 2015
- Heart of the Community Awards
- 40 Under 40
- Athletics Hall of Fame
- We Are All Webster: Building community from many identities, owning our biases, infusing diversity with inclusion